Setting your Jira teams up for success
If you’re a new Atlassian admin, or your needs are fairly straightforward, the out-of-the-box Jira experience might be good enough to set your team up for success. But as your organization grows, so does its need for more sophisticated, flexible processes.
Atlassian Marketplace apps can help you modify Jira to meet the exact needs of your team. Their capabilities range from offering point-and-click configurations – quick and easy to use – to offering excellent extensibility through scripting for admins who can handle the complexity. And with apps, you are also not beholden to Jira’s automation limits on Cloud.
In this article, we’ll look side-by-side at three of the most popular and established workflow automation apps on the Atlassian Marketplace: JSU Automation Suite for Jira Workflows, Jira Misc Workflow Extensions (JMWE), and Power Scripts – Jira Workflow Automation.
We’ll explain key differences, and reveal why so many businesses and Jira admins rely on them daily to streamline and accelerate their processes inside Jira.
Quick-start your Jira workflows
A Jira admin who wants to streamline workflow processes in Jira quickly, without added complexity. You don’t have any scripting skills, or prefer workflow automation to be as simple and code-free as possible, especially if you have less experienced Jira admins on the team.
A workflow automation solution in Jira that is simple, intuitive, and helps you hit the ground running. The scale of automation is relatively straightforward and manageable in size, so you don’t expect to recreate the same workflow configurations on a regular basis.
JSU Automation Suite for Jira Workflows – an entirely no-code automation solution to quickly level up your Jira workflows. It comes with a beginner-friendly, intuitive User Experience (UX) that helps you get to where you need to be as quickly as possible.
At the center of the UX is Global Navigation which provides easy, quick access to frequently used features, such as the ‘My workflows’ page. It’s essentially a single-page overview of all your saved JSU workflow rules, including the projects and transitions where they have been enabled. This lets you quickly see how JSU has been implemented across your entire instance, enabling faster workflow management.
JSU takes a step further in providing admins with an intuitive, code-free environment with the Universal Rule Builder (URB). It is a streamlined rule editor that offers JSU users a modular “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” style of configuring workflows.
With URB, even non-technical Jira admins can easily build simple or complex rules. All configuration in URB is done in a single place, eliminating the need to navigate Jira multiple times or having to click through text-heavy, mandatory fields. You can review your complete rule summary in an easily comprehensible WHEN–IF-THEN format, edit individual components, and change their order via drag & drop before saving the rule.
With so much focus on ease of use and simplicity, you’d be excused to think that JSU lacks in other areas such as depth of workflow customization. JSU comes with a surprisingly robust set of workflow automation building blocks that help Jira admins tailor workflows to their team’s specific needs. As a result, common use cases are well covered by JSU, from automatically creating subtasks to onboard new members, calculating field values to estimate work effort, to even setting up conditional approvals to streamline budget requests.
In summary, JSU Automation Suite for Jira Workflows is a great place to start for admins who need to quickly level up workflow automation in Jira, but don’t want to deal with the complexity of working with code.
Advance your Jira workflows
A Jira admin with relatively mature, complex processes in Jira. You prefer to rely on no-code, point & click extensions to customize and automate Jira workflows. From time to time, however, you don’t shy away from using a bit of scripting to create more sophisticated workflow processes.
Above simplicity, you need a solution that combines power with flexibility. Flexibility to choose how you solve workflow problems, be it with ready-made templates or through scripting. For the more sophisticated use cases, having the option to write your own scripted workflow extensions is a nice bonus. And finally, as the scale and process requirements grow inside Jira, so does your need for a tool that can help ease the daily grind of setting up and tweaking various workflows.
Jira Misc Workflow Extensions (JMWE) – a flexible workflow automation solution that combines no-code, point & click configurations with simplified, low-code scripting capabilities. You can automate almost any use case with a comprehensive library of 40+ built-in workflow extensions that you can quickly configure without writing a single line of code.
To meet your team’s more sophisticated workflow needs, you can take these extensions further with a little bit of scripting. Essentially, instead of writing the whole workflow extension yourself, you simply customize JMWE with snippets of code.
For example, if you want to transition all linked issues and provide, for one of the transition screen fields, a calculated value, you just need to write a few lines of code that calculate that value. This is especially handy when someone in your organization wants to review JMWE configurations at a later time, without getting lost in lines and lines of code.
The array of options to choose exactly how you want to approach workflow automation in JMWE doesn’t stop there. For ultimate control and adaptability to your business needs, JMWE also lets you build your own scripted workflow extensions with the simple yet powerful scripting editor. Thanks to its smart, interactive inline help system, syntax highlighting, and built-in script tester, Jira admins with little to no coding experience can deploy advanced, bug-free workflows.
Automation in JMWE isn’t limited to just Jira status changes, i.e. when an issue transitions from OPEN to IN PROGRESS. With Event-based Actions, you can run any of the JMWE post functions – or sequences of post functions – outside of Jira workflows. These actions can be triggered by a variety of changes and events, such as elapsed time, if someone comments on a Jira issue, or creates an attachment. For example, let’s say an engineer in your organization has updated a Jira issue with the number of hours they worked on a project. JMWE can validate this change against requirements, and even perform the necessary labor cost calculations, completely automatically.
Once your Jira instance has multiple workflows, it won’t be long before you’ll find yourself recreating the same configurations over and over again. Using Shared Actions, your most common configurations can be quickly reused across multiple transitions and projects. You can set multiple fields using a single “set field value post-function”, configure a post-function to send an email, and then apply them to different workflow transitions as one Shared Action, without the need to recreate them over and over again.
All of the above makes Jira Misc Workflow Extensions (JMWE) a great all-purpose solution for Jira admins who aren’t afraid to deal with a little complexity in exchange for more flexibility and power.
Dive deeper into Jira automation
A Jira admin who hit a wall when trying to customize, enhance and extend Jira’s functionality to fit your unique needs. You appreciate the full flexibility that comes with a scripting solution.
Something that is fully customizable, helps you create tailored solutions to address day-to-day challenges, or speeds up one-off projects like migrations. As the size of your Jira instance grows, so does your need for something that’s scalable. The perfect tool would allow you to control every aspect of Jira, from the user interface to custom field calculations, and more.
And since you want to help your teams share data from Jira seamlessly with other business-critical tools, your ideal solution should come with flexible integration options to connect with your existing tech stack outside of Jira.
Power Scripts – Jira Workflow Automation, a versatile script-based solution to access deep levels of automation, customization, and integration in Jira. Power Scripts allows Jira admins to automate anything: repetitive bulk tasks, event-based or scheduled actions, custom workflows, and more.
When getting started, users can leverage ready-made script templates that cover most common types of scripts, or create and modify existing scripts with basic text editing in the SIL Manager.
Designed exclusively for Jira and Confluence, SIL is a lot simpler and more efficient than more general-purpose scripting languages such as Groovy. SIL also makes it easy to maintain automations in the long run. Unlike with Groovy, you won’t have to update and manually rewrite SIL scripts when you upgrade to a new Jira version or move between Jira Server/DC and Cloud. You can quickly move to a new Jira version with little to no downtime for the business.
As you scale, Power Scripts helps you safeguard your Jira instance against human error. With Live Fields, available on Server/DC, you can customize the Jira user interface at a much deeper level, and even add custom layers of security and data validation. You can modify standard and custom fields in Jira, or even tweak various graphic elements in the UI, such as buttons and tabs, to pre-fill fields, restrict visibility, or make fields read-only for certain users.
If you need to step outside Jira’s boundaries, integrations via RestAPI and webhooks allow you to connect Jira to thousands of external, business-critical tools and data sources. Transform incoming emails into Jira tickets, connect to Slack, integrate your CRM, HR or BI tools for reporting purposes, or query databases or LDAP. Power Scripts can help you make the most of Jira – for all your teams.
All in all, Power Scripts – Jira Workflow Automation is a powerful Swiss army knife for those who know how to wield it. With powerful capabilities, it helps you automate not only your workflows but all aspects of Jira, and handle even the most complex scenarios at scale.
The right tool for the right team
While this article introduces just three of the most powerful and widely used workflow automation apps available on Atlassian Marketplace, we hope it will help you to pursue the app that best fits your organization’s needs. Whether you are just starting out, looking for more flexibility, or want to create fully tailored solutions through scripting, Appfire has you covered.
JSU Automation Suite for Jira Workflows
Jira Misc Workflow Extensions (JMWE)
Power Scripts – Jira Workflow Automation
|Quick-start your workflow|
|Advance your workflow|
|Access deeper levels|
of automation, customization, and integration
|+ Entirely no-code solution|
+ Fast, simple navigation
+ Drag & drop visual rule builder
+ Easy onboarding with hints & tips
|+ Large collection of no-code extensions|
+ Extend with simplified scripting
+ Automate based on events & schedules
+ Reusable workflow configurations
|+ Full scripting-based solution|
+ Automate beyond Jira workflows
+ Customize Jira UI
+ Integrate with external tools
|Try for free||Try for free||Try for free|
These apps reduce the repetition, human error, and manual maintenance inherent to Jira workflows. Beyond unlocking an unparalleled level of customization and scale in Jira, these help any Agile-minded company accelerate its business processes to match the demanding pace of the market.
When looking for your perfect fit, it doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. Many Jira Admins use a combination of these apps, such as JSU and JMWE. Or Power Scripts and JSU. This provides admins access not only to sophisticated scripting options, but also a means to set something up quickly and simply when the situation demands, or when someone less experienced joins the admin team.
CBS Broadcasting Inc., for example, was able to streamline processes and get a clearer picture of work-in-progress by enhancing Jira’s native functionality with Power Scripts and JMWE.
Ultimately, the best way to learn how these apps fit into your existing Jira processes is to try them out yourself. In addition to a free 30-day trial, these apps are completely free on Cloud for up to 10 users. So why not take these apps for a quick spin in your Jira instance, and see for yourself how they can make your work really flow?
Download our free guide on six automation strategies for Jira that’ll make you - and your team - happy
Last updated: 2023-03-21